I hate waiting!

I hate to wait.

Waiting, waiting, waiting…..
Ever since the Lord told us to move to our beloved Cambodia to work restoring children from the evils of sex trafficking, our primary ministry has been waiting.

Did I say, I hate waiting?

Remember when you were a kid and you counted the days until Christmas or until that last agonizing day of school? Or as a teenager you anxiously waited for that driver’s license, your first boyfriend and college freedom? Then as an adult, your first job, then your first child, then your first home and the list goes on and on. As now as we prepare to live overseas and the next grand adventure of our lives, what do we run into? Waiting, waiting, waiting….. Waiting to be accepted for the job, waiting to tell our church, waiting to raise the seemingly impossible funds, waiting to sell our house, and the list continues (big sigh inserted here).

If most of life is an exercise of patience and is strengthened through waiting, why do I still get so anxious, discouraged or frustrated? Maybe I should look at waiting as a GIFT from God.



Pastor Charles Stanley says, “ To wait for the Lord means to remain in your present circumstances or environment until He gives further instruction. Far from encouraging passivity, this verse calls for an active choice to be at rest, trusting in God and His timing. It’s not a cessation of daily activities but an internal stillness of spirit that accompanies you throughout the day”.

Oh, so now I get it. Lord, help me to wait patiently for your further instruction and glorify you! I can wait on You.

Bring on the waiting!

4 Kinds of Poverty

As we prepare for work in the world of child sex-trafficking, as we consider life in another country in very different living conditions, as we mentally try to wrap our thoughts around a community of people where it is culturally acceptable to exploit children; it has become increasingly important to us to learn some perspectives that will assist us in reaching those lost in the idea that human life has no particular inherent value.  What is it that would lead a person to think that it is “OK” to entrap, enslave, coerce or by any means force a child to be abused by another person? Something is missing in a person so disposed.  What is the missing thing(s)?

trafficking stat photoWe know that man is created in the image of God and thereby each man has intrinsic value as a God created being, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 ESV”. Without this basic concept, there is no reason we can expect someone to view the life of another as something of value.  If one man is to see something other than monetary or exploitive value in another man it must come from this basic biblical principle. Man was created to “subdue the earth” and it is an easy leap to include his fellow man as something to be subdued, unless there comes that knowledge that my fellow man has some higher level value.  Without the knowledge of God, his creation of all things, his order for all things and his plan for all things, without a correct view of God, man has no particular or unique value.

This is why we, as believers, must share the Gospel.  We simply must.

As this journey of preparation continues for us, we are trying to gain perspective and insight.  We cannot expect someone to behave as though they understand God and his creative and redemptive plan when they simply don’t know.  Gaining some tools to understand the perspective of those we will be seeking to work with seems invaluable.  Let me share something that we have come across that has impacted my thinking enormously.  A book titled, “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

I am not going to give a book review here but I simply want to point out four kinds of poverty that I see from these authors (I am simplifying for sake of this post – the authors use different terms)

  1. Spiritual Poverty – not knowing the one true God.
  2. Internal Poverty – not knowing that “I” have value just because I am made in the image of God.
  3. Community Poverty – groups of people living as self-serving agents where exploitation is a means of survival and no one is responsible for working for the general good of all.
  4. Material Poverty – lacking the substance of goods necessary to survive.

If real change is to occur, if exploitation of people in slavery, in this case children entrapped in sex-trafficking is to be abolished, it will not be through the law alone.  It will not be through hunger elimination alone, it will not be through only changing what we see.  It will come from collectively addressing all four kinds of poverty and it will only be sustained by addressing Spiritual Poverty.

The work of AIM (Agape International Missions) as I see us engaging is to Prevent|Rescue|Restore|Reintegrate children from sex-trafficking and while doing this, to bring a sustainable, reproducible change to the culture.  That is the work we are called to engage in. That is the work we are committed to seeing happen. That is why we will shortly leave for a two-year assignment in Asia.

We are thankful for your support.

Our Vision

When I left the business world for a “short-term” assignment in ministry now 15 years ago, my goals became more eternal, less financial and far more personal. The goals became life and death, generation changing, family restoring, God glorifying. Intentionality has always been at the forefront of my motivation but during this now long-term “short-term” assignment ETERNAL things have overtaken all other motivation. My constant quest is to do something with the life time I have been given that changes the eternity of another person(s) for God’s glory and pleasure. I thought I’d found it in ministry in general but I know now that the move to ministry was an entry point not the focal point.

Very young girlsWhat lies before Debbie and I seems at this point to be the most life-changing, eternity-redirecting, God-glorifying, captive-freeing work we have ever engaged in. Prevention|Rescue|Restoration|Reintegration of defenseless, hopeless, captive children just seems to us to be the most redemptive work we can find. It is the next step in our quest to do something that changes the life of another person for God’s glory and pleasure.

Money. It does take money to do the work we are embarking on. In my business career I raised a lot of money to develop start-up business operations largely owned by others, venture capitalists. I never asked for funds for something I did not believe strongly would be successful, but we were not each time successful. We did however always make notable progress. We always moved closer to our goal.

I find I am again asking for money. This time intentionally focused on the eternity of children and changing the culture. The goals are clear – Prevention|Rescue|Restoration|Reintegration.

Simply stated, we need financial partners who share the vision of changing lives for the glory and honor of God. We need folks who share the vision to SHARE THE VISION with others. We need an uprising of those who see the eternal significance of rescuing kids from the world of sex-trafficking. We need lots of people telling lots of other people. If you “get it” please share it! It is an eternal investment.

Thank you for your support.

Support the Cause

Remembering Missing Stuff

I was asked the other day as someone walked out of my house with some tables and other “stuff” if it was hard to see it go. The bag of feelings is not as mixed as I would have expected. No question, there are a lot of memories. No question some of those memories have not been embraced in many many years.

soldSomebody walked away with my yard tennis game and it made me think of the hours of fun in our home in Edmond, Oklahoma that I had playing with my kids for the “family championship”. The number of last points that turned to best two out of three, the number of times we would be called for dinner and have to play “next point wins”, and the number of times I lost to my incredibly gifted children who were so delighted to beat dad; now those were the days. Interestingly, while the equipment is now gone, I still have the memories. In fact, they are fresher for having pulled the equipment out and looked it over. I even remember the last time it was put away and one of my kids was keeping score on a little yellow sticky that was still in the bag. They were winning by one point and I am sure that is why the little yellow sticky was left behind.

The balls were crusty and cracked, the rackets were still good and the net seemed just fine. I threw in the little hammer that we used to put the stakes in the ground. But, while all the stuff went out the door, the memories lingered freshly new in my mind.

God has given me a good family. Not perfect but then they didn’t get a perfect dad either. But what we had was a chance to grow, learn and develop together. What those years mean to my soul is nothing short of amazing. The memories did not go out the door. I still have them. They are the precious thing.

And now, we are using the resources of sold stuff to go help children who do not have such fond memories. Children who do not know families exist in God’s design for their good. Young girls and boys who long for a chance to experience real love as their hearts cry for something they do not know. We are selling it all to be “Imitators of God (Ephes. 5:1)” who gave all that he held on this earth for the lost ones of his creation – including me.

Missing stuff. Not really, I still have the memories. Come on by and buy some stuff or donate for the cause of going.

traffickedIn case you don’t know, Debbie and I are entering a new stage of work. We are moving to Cambodia as soon as we can sell our stuff and raise our support so that we can engage in the work of Prevention|Rescue|Restoration|Reintegration of children from the world of sex-trafficking. This is work that may dwarf any other work of our lives. We hope and pray we will be part of a great new movement of our day that sweeps the world. Be a part of this with us.